University of Pittsburgh
October 21, 2003

Pitt to Sponsor 13th Annual Slovak Heritage Festival

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The 13th annual Slovak Heritage Festival, featuring Slovak song and dance performances and educational lectures and display, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, 3959 Fifth Ave., in Oakland.

Artists from Pittsburgh and Slovakia will perform traditional Slovak songs and dances in the Cathedral's Commons Room. This year's free event will feature the Singing Revilak Family and Jozef Ivaska. Vendors will offer ethnic foods, pastries, imported Slovakian folk art, and other merchandise.

The Singing Revilak Family has performed for 16 years a varied folk art song repertoire on European, Canadian, and American stages. The act, centered on the rich Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn tradition, features modern compositions as well as international favorites, including American folk songs and theater favorites. The Revilak family singers, who have appeared in churches and at benefit concerts for hospital charities, have produced numerous cassettes and CDs that will be available for purchase at the festival.

Ivaska, known in Slovakia as the Man of a Thousand Songs, is making his first concert tour in the United States. Noted for his lyrical tenor, he sings in a variety of musical categories, including opera, operetta, rock, pop, jazz, and folk. Born in Ruzomberok, Slovakia, Ivaska was forced out of the country during the Communist era because many of his songs were considered to be anti-Communist. He graduated from the Bratislava Conservatory of Music, where he studied opera. He was active in the rock and pop scene in Ruzomberok and Zilina, where he founded the rock group Sirius in the early 1980s. In 1985, he won the national Bystrica Bell Song competition for "Moje Vlastna Tvar" (My Own Face), a song that was later banned. His CDs also will be available.

Pitt's Slovak Studies Program and the Pitt Student's Slovak Club are cosponsors of the event. For more information, call 412-624-5906, or e-mail slavic@pitt.edu.

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